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Polk County Sees Spike In Murders

POLK COUNTY, Fla. (CW44 News At 10) - Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd says the county has seen a spike in murders over the last four months.

"You go from four in five months to 24 in five months? It doesn't make sense," said Sheriff Judd.

Sheriff Judd says at first 2021 looked like it was off to a better start than previous years.

"We thought yes, our murder rate is back down and then we had like eleven in one month!" he said.

Sheriff Judd says in 2020, Polk County had 26 murders, and this year so far, there are 28.

"When you consider that we have this huge, horrible pandemic, among us, we just came out of the most ugly, vile election season in 2020. Is all of that adding together on people's stress? I suggest that it is," he said.

He says many of the murders happen out of stupidity, and people don't think of the consequences.

"You can never be with your loved ones at Christmas. What are you thinking? Well they aren't thinking. They have five brain cells, and four of them aren't working," said Sheriff Judd.

Back in September, a family of four was murdered in their Lakeland home. A little later, another man from Pennsylvania murdered his three coworkers in a home in Davenport. Sheriff Judd says no matter her small or big the murder is, his team does everything they can to keep the county safe.

"We don't just send the detective and a crime scene person. We send a team of 20 or 30 people to start an initial homicide investigation," he said.

Sheriff Judd says killing someone will not only take their life, but it will ruin yours.

"You can run naked through the woods, just don't murder people chill out," he said.

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